- to unfasten or undo, as a bond or fetter.
- to make less tight; slacken or relax: to loosen one's grasp.
- to make less firmly fixed in place: to loosen a tooth.
- to let loose or set free from bonds, restraint, or constraint.
- to make less close or compact in structure or arrangement.
- to make less dense or coherent: to loosen the soil in a garden.
- to relax in strictness or severity, as restraint or discipline: to loosen restrictions on trade.
- to relieve (the bowels) of their constipated condition.
- to become loose or looser (sometimes followed by up): His hold loosened. Your shoes will loosen up with wear.
Origin of loosen
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for loosened
In 2013, the state legislature passed a sweeping charter school bill pushed by Mitchell that loosened oversight and regulation.At This Creepy Libertarian Charter School, Kids Must Swear ‘to Be Obedient to Those in Authority’
October 15, 2014
But recently, the MPAA has loosened the stick in its collective ass and allowed women to go there whilst maintaining an R rating.Oral Sex Comes of Age in Hollywood: ‘Gone Girl’ the Latest Film to Showcase Female Pleasure
October 4, 2014
In 2017, those reins will be loosened, and Hongkongers will be able to vote for their Chief Executive.Is Hong Kong Tiananmen 2.0?
September 29, 2014
“Soon enough, he loosened his Pierre Cardin belt,” she writes.His Reputation Precedes Him: Dov Charney’s Blacklist
June 19, 2014
A generation ago, Beijing watched nervously as the Soviet Union loosened its grip only to fall, and split apart.On the 25th Anniversary of Tiananmen Sq., Chinese Dissidents Remain Undaunted
June 2, 2014
He loosened his cravat, unfastened his waistcoat, and felt for the beating of his heart.Henry Dunbar
M. E. Braddon
If there was—he shrugged his shoulders and loosened the automatic in his blouse.Slaves of Mercury
He loosened his girdle, and struck the tree with it three times.The Chinese Fairy Book
The shriek of agony from Hans loosened the arms of Heinrich.
The gripes were now loosened, and the fall of one of the tackles was led to the capstan.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
- to make or become less tight, fixed, etc
- (often foll by up) to make or become less firm, compact, or rigid
- (tr) to untie
- (tr) to let loose; set free
- (often foll by up) to make or become less strict, severe, etc
- (tr) to rid or relieve (the bowels) of constipation
C14: from loose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for loosened
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper